Episode 0: Escape to Proxima Command

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Episode 0: Escape to Proxima Command

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Readers, please note that when discussing our experience in Escape to Proxima Command, our team needed to view our scoring categories with a different lens. Proxima Command is not a typical escape room. If you are someone who is strict in your definitions and expectations, do not approach Proxima Command as you would an escape room. Think of it more as a different stream of interactive entertainment. With that in mind, and with us relating our experience to our categories as closely as we could, read on.

Proxima Command is located in the Annex neighbourhood in Toronto, about a 10 minute walk from Christie Subway Station. We recommend traveling by transit, as parking is limited to a few spots of paid street parking, or whatever you find on the surrounding residential streets. There is a small sign in the street-facing window, so make sure you are scanning the buildings on approach. The space inside the building is quite limited, mainly due to the construct within: The bridge of the Starship Odysseus. There is seating and tables, but we recommend your group arrive shortly before your start time or bring a small game to play while you wait. The staff are very friendly and are more than willing to discuss the history of Proxima Command.

The setup for the room could definitely use some work. The current introduction works well to explain the room, but it doesn’t setup the story very well and didn’t do much to amp us up for the experience. A lot of the explanation was about the stations, but these points could easily be left up to the crew to discover once their mission begins. We would love to see the introduction change into a quick narrative to setup why we’re there and rundown the basic rules. Alternatively, starting the crew off on the bridge with a video explanation as the systems “boot” would also work extremely well.

Space is limited on the bridge of the Starship Odysseus, but luckily for the crew, not much movement is required. The starship is well constructed, with extremely little to distract crew members from the task at hand. The room is littered with tablets, which act as the interface to the ship’s systems, as well as viewing screens which allow the crew to see where they’re going and what is surrounding the ship. The room has been put together seamlessly, and while it may feel cramped while a team is moving around to get a look at all of the different stations, once everyone has chosen a spot, there isn’t much movement required.

This was one of the most immersive experiences in which ERA has taken part. From start to finish, none of us felt like we were anywhere but inside the Starship Odysseus, and all of our discussions and actions were that of the crew members we were set to be. I would definitely say that some of the stations are more enjoyable than others, but if you happen to take control of one of the less important stations, you can easily shift your focus to the station next to you and lend a hand there.

The main puzzle of Proxima Command is figuring out how everything works and how to work together with your crew. You won’t be opening locks, completing crossword puzzles, or putting a set of objects in the proper order, but what you will be doing is working together to complete the tasks that you are given in order to reach your final destination. The nature of this experience forces inclusion, and of all of the escape rooms I have ever done, I have never communicated with my team more than at Proxima Command.

Escape to Proxima Command is a VERY fun experience. From the initial exploration of the various stations within the Starship Odysseus to the moment of docking at Proxima Command (when I was SO tempted to push the Self-Destruct button), the experience was thematic, engaging, and unique. I recommend this room for anyone that feels comfortable operating a tablet, especially if you’re looking for a different take on interactive entertainment, or always wanted to captain a starship.

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